The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #105409   Message #2170128
Posted By: Dave'sWife
13-Oct-07 - 04:58 AM
Thread Name: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
Backwoodsman - so glad to have helped in my own with a little explanation. We do certainly have our share of happy barncats out on the farms to be sure. I also don't doubt that there is a feral cat problem wherever there are people who don't care about animals much and don't think about tossing them by the road.

Incidentally, I saw an amusing TV program that documented a study in the UK that kept track of everything "housecats" dragged home dead for year or so. One particularly viscious little wellfed girl named Missy or Misty killed something everyday, mostly voles and rabbits. The study found that the housecats were killing mostly for sport and not consuming their kills. The vole population seemed to be suffering the most.

Here in the US, it seems to be songbirds that suffer disproportionately. My own well-fed girl (the daughter/grandaughter of Big GingerBoy) dragged home a still warm Lesser Goldfinch a few weeks ago and it broke my heart because they are smaller and more beautiful than hummingbirds. We only get them here in the fall and I grow a tall stand of maximillian (Prairie) sunflowers for them just so they can stay more than 10 feet off the ground whilst feeding. She also kills a baby mourning dove every spring or two. Bad kittie. I restrict her from going out during typical bird feeding hours and somehow she still manages to snag them.

At least she has stopped pulling the tails of our local fence lizards. We went known for about 3 years as the Cottage of Tail-less Lizards. I finally built the Fence Lizards a refuge in each graden so they can get away from her fat paws and conserve their tails. Fence Lizards' tails will snap off if grabbed and writhe about like a worm or snake. My fat cat brings them in the house and plays with the disembodied wiggling tails.

Until I built the refuges, she'd also bring in the tail-less lizards to play with who were playing dead. I'd have to rescue them and set them back out. Making them some rock piles and refuges out of broken pottery near the house foundations gives them just enough space to get away from sneaky cats, keep their tails and their lives. It's very hard on them to lose their tails and then have to go about with a bloody stump for months waiting for it to regrow. They are good for the garden and eat pests so the least we can do is help them keep their tails, right?

I'm a bit of a sucker for animals if you haven't noticed. I've even tried to get my husband to make some wooden houses for the ground bumble bees we have but he's terrified of bees and refuses. I'll likely have to do it myself. it's not hard - just drill some holes and set the thing on the ground. At least the cat doesn't stalk bumble bees!